American Speech 77.3 (2002) 313-324
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Among The New Words
Wayne Glowka and Megan Melançon
Georgia College & State University
This installment reports on nominations that did not win in any of the categories for words of the year 2001. The winners are listed with citations in the previous installment (American Speech 77: 207-15). Although it was nominated, we have eliminated weaponize from this list because we found the word in three dictionaries with the meaning proposed with the nomination. We could not find annoyicon spelled as one word, but we did find it as two words. Although the OED2 uses burka as its headword for the entry, we could not find burka blue with that spelling. Curious about what the usual spelling for burka/burqa was, we did a keyword search on Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe and got 476 hits for burka and 456 for burqa. We'll have to see which spelling wins out. Our new copy of the American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.) offers burqa. We include a citation of burqa with a new meaning reportedly in use among teenagers.
Some of the terms are indeed much older than some of us would have presumed, but we are finding out more and more that words can lie lurking in the shadows for a good number of years before they gain widespread recognition. And the opposite is apparently true: words once prominent can disappear from the speech of most people but hang on among special groups. After World War II, for example, so many thousands of people were discharged at the same time from the armed services that civilian clothes were hard to find. To signify permission to wear a military uniform for an extended period of time after discharge, these otherwise clothesless people wore a patch featuring a badly drawn eagle. The eagle was nicknamed the ruptured duckk; the person wearing the insignia was also called a ruptured duck ("ANW," American Speech 21 : 224). We had thought that this term had pretty much died until we did a search and found Web sites for ruptured duck clubs and even advertisements for copies of the badge.
Citations and help came from Adele Algeo, John Algeo, David Barnhart, Gareth Branwyn, Ludwig Deringer, Connie Eble, David Evans, William J. Kirwin, Steve Kleinedler, and Frank Nuessel. As always, we thank the people who invest their time and money to send us clippings of possible new words in use. These investments keep our files rich.
annoy icon n Logo found to be irritating 2001 May 3 jbrolax (accessed 16 Apr 2002) http://www.ballericons.com/?pg=comments&icon=2816 the [sic] annoy icon isnt [sic] funny any more but the worst was cat on my head[.] 2002 [End Page 313] Apr 16 (access date) http://jokepage.users5.50megs.com/icons.html Kill that Annoy icon!!! / Get rid of that damn cat! / Fall to your death!! (Most Useful)
burqa blue n [OED2 burka with various spellings 1836] Color of the head-to-toe garment worn by some Afghan women 2002 Apr 16 (access date) http://quilt4afghanistan.i8.com/sqares/04.htm Walled Garden / Quilter—Louise Amuir. / The corner pinwheels are driven by the winds of change. And the central panel pinwheels are the fantastic energy contained by burqa blue. (Most Outrageous)
burqa n Item of clothing out of fashion (among teens) 2002 Mar 19 Emily Wax Washington Post A01 (Lexis-Nexis) And out-of-style clothes? "Is that a burqa?" (Most Outrageous)
cuddle puddle n 1: Pile of Ecstasy users on the floor 2000 Mar 20 Joanna Coles Times (London) np (Lexis-Nexis) The "e" craze is so big that this week's Time magazine deemed it worthy of a spread, warning of an increase in the drug's use in fraternity houses, where users have dubbed it the "hug drug" and form "cuddle puddles". 2001 Aug 1 Craig Wilson USA Today 1D/4 Speaking of drugs, I learned that at a rave, when people are on Ecstasy and feeling friendly, they fall into a pile on the floor. This...